I find the first lines of a book captivating and the opening of this novel is one of my favorites. The book begins, “There are times when life is a cursor on a blank page, blinking in a rhythm a bit like an electronic heartbeat, tapping out a question in three little words. What. Comes. Next.
There are a great number of characters in this book – Mallory, Daniel, Nick. Pecos. Jack & Mason West. Al and Keren. The Gymies. Pop Dorsey. Birdie. The Binding Thru Book Girls. Mallory’s sisters. Reverend Hay. Mama B. The Docksiders. Usually a story with so many characters would have my head spinning but Wingate does such an amazing job with each character that it is easy to believe even your life could somehow fit amongst the many residents of Moses Lake, Texas.
The story starts with an unexpected romance and accelerates into one adventure after another. It is a journey about marriage & motherhood . In the newness of these roles, Wingate explores the different between the negativity of “losing oneself” with the positive aspect of discovering the one God created each of us to be.
I was impressed by the respect shown by the author towards the families of Chinquapin Peaks, the downtrodden of the community. And inspired by those determined to make a difference, such as Reverand Hay observed, “If we never give people a chance, we never know what they’re capable of.” I could relate to the question repeated a couple of times, by different characters in the story, “Do you ever have the feeling that God’s using you right where you are?”
Again, so many details woven into the story, which could have become confusing but instead created a perfect balance of entertainment and intrigue. Politics & pork-barreling. Foster care & parenting. The disappearance of a mother & child. Infertility and an unexpected pregnancy. Respect [or lack thereof] between employees and employers. Running from a past. Running towards an uncertain future. Rodents and critters. Washington, DC and the middle of Texas.
Definitely would recommend this book.
NOTE: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Bethany House publishers in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are my own.